In considering, and discussing with others, the recent Rick Perry's 'Day of Prayer' lawsuit pursued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation I have realized that it is possible this will result in a deadly Catch-22. If they sue him, there will be one of two outcomes. Either the 'Day of Prayer' will be successfully halted, or the lawsuit will be in vain and the event will happen as planned. The problem is that, no matter the outcome, the Christian Right will be able to portray the lawsuit to suit their own agenda. If the lawsuit goes through, then it will be a further example of how the evil atheists have taken over, and thus will solidify and perhaps bolster the fanatics' resolve. If the lawsuit doesn't carry, then Perry will be portrayed as a hero for standing up against those meddling secularists. Either outcome gives him a solid foundation to bolster his entry into the presidential race. However, that's not even the Catch-22 I'm talking about. That just gives rise to the bigger issue of secular organizations being damned if they do, damned if they don't fight obvious Church-State separation violations. We seem to lose either way if we do fight, but if we don't then such infractions just keep happening.
I'm not sure what can be done about this problem per se. However, I will say that it is a basis for my thought that the real fight to undermine theocratic takeover happens at the conceptual level more than at the legal level. Ultimately I think we are going to have to really get rid of religious thinking in our culture overall to ever hope to have an effect on the political realm. I am not saying that people should not engage in political activism and to actually file lawsuits. I applaud the FFRF for pursuing this, or any other similar, lawsuit, and I support them fully. But I still think that the best thing we can do is to continue to get more exposure for atheism, humanism, and secularism in a 'winning of hearts and minds' way to really get things done. I guess I'm just saying that we should continue to, but possibly even more fervently, support more books, more blogs, more talks, more conventions, more journalism, more academic research, more pop culture that spreads the ideas of critical/rational thought which naturally leads to, well...naturalism. We must remember that this is a cultural/theoretical as well as a legal battle. The best thing you can do, as an individual, is to quit believing in God, and not be afraid to talk to other people about that. Further, if you've already made the easy step of being a non-theist of any sort, continue to examine how theistic thinking pervades our attitudes in all sorts of realms even beyond just immediate religio-philosophical ideas (a topic I hope to revisit in future blogs). With public attitude still in the theistic mindset, those from the political milieu are able to use that fact to their advantage. I will end with some anti-theistic wisdom from one of America's founding fathers (ironic huh? That's another blog too, by the way): "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." -Thomas Jefferson